Wednesday, 30 May 2012

What is Clexane Used For?





I've had a couple of people asking me what my injections are for (I have to do them at work sometimes) and then I get the follow up questions of, what, why and how. This little article will explain what it is, what it is used for, how you use it and what the side effects are.

What is Clexane

Clexane contains a medicine on enoxapain and is part of a group of medicines called Low Molecular Weight Heparins. It works by preventing blood clots from forming in the blood and also by stopping existing blood clots from getting any bigger which helps your body to break them down and stop them causing damage.

What is Clexane Used For

Clexane, as mentioned before, is used to treat clots that are in the blood, and to prevent clots when you have unstable angina, after operations or long periods of bed rest due to illness, after you have had a heart attack. It is also used to stop blood clots forming in the tubes of your dialysis machine and during pregnancy if you are at risk for clotting.

Clexane Dosage

Depending on your need for Clexane will depend on your dosage. See below for the following descriptions:
  1. Treating blood clots that are in your blood
    1. The usual dose is 1.5mg for every kilogram of your weight, each day
    2. Normally taken for at least 5 days
  2. Stopping blood clots forming in your blood in the following:
    1. Unstable Angina
      1. The usual amount is 1mg for every kilogram of weight, every 12 hours
      2. Normally given for 2-8 days.
    2. After an operation or long periods of bed rest
      1. The usual dose is 20-40mg each day, depending on your clotting risk.
      2. Low-medium risk you are given 20mg each day, the first injection will usually be given 2 hours before your operation.
      3. If you're at a higher risk you will be given 40mg each day, the first injection is normally given 12 hours before your operation.
      4. If you are bedridden due to illness, you will normally be given 40mg of Clexane each day for 6-14 days.
    3. After you have had a heart attack
      1. Clexane can be used for 2 different types of heart attack called NSTEMI or STEMI.
        1. NSTEMI type of heart attack
          1. The usual amount is 1mg for every kilogram of weight, every 12 hours for 2-8 days
        2. STEMI type of heart attack
          1. If you are under 75 years old 30mg of Clexane will be given as an injection into your vein and an injection under your skin (dosage 1mg for every kilogram of weight), every 12 hours for up to 8 days.
          2. If you are over 75 years old you will be given an injection under the skin every 12 hours (0.75mg for every kilogram of weight)
  3. Stopping blood clots from forming in the tubes of your dialysis machine
    1. The usual dose is 1mg for every kilogram of weight which is added to the tube leaving the body at the start of the session which is normally enough for 4 hours. However, your doctor might give you a further 0.5-1mg if necessary.

How Do I Use Clexane

If you are going to self-inject you will be taught how to by your doctor or district nurse.
Before you inject yourself be sure to check the syringe for damage and make sure you know the amount you're injecting. Here's a short video demonstrating how to do the injection:

What Are the Side Effects

There are a variety of side effects that you can get with Clexane just like with any other medication. Here is an article detailing the Side Effects of Clexane.

Bruising

I will mention one of the main side effects though as it is such a big one: bruising. I have included an article that elaborates on things you can do to Decrease Bruising with Clexane. I've also included some links to Arnica products as I've found that these help a lot with reducing bruising when it rears it's ugly head. Home Remedies For Bruising -Click Here!
Arnica Products If you're a user of Clexane just remember that you will have good days and bad days with this medication. I can sometimes go a week with the perfect injection every time (straight in, no blood, or bruising) but then I can also suffer from hypersensitivity to the needle, hematoma forming and extensive bruising all at the same time. So as the Dalai Lama says Live One Day at a Time and all will be well.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Increasing Energy with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/M.E)

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/M.E) is a controversial disease that has no know cause and as of yet no known treatment. CFS is mainly classified by fatigue that has lasted for a minimum of six months but it does come with a variety of other symptoms too, which is include:

  • Sore muscles - as it you've done a heavy workout
  • Stiffness and swelling in your joints
  • Disturbed sleep - this can include excessive sleeping and insomnia
  • Severe headaches - often including migraines
  • Sore throat and runny nose - flu like symptoms
  • Occasional fever
  • Swollen and tender lymph nodes
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Brain fog - trouble focusing or forgetting things
This disease is very hard to diagnose as it takes time to build up a complete picture of your symptoms as they will come and go at varying levels of intensity. 

The Battery System

Imagine that a normal person gets their energy from a very big, very efficient battery and that they can thrive off of that for 16 hours a day easily and at night when they sleep for 8 hours they charge up their battery. Now imagine someone trying to live off of four AA batteries, not quite the same now is it? That's how it is for M.E/CFS patients, they have these little batteries that they can use for energy but that's it and in order to keep those little batteries they need to rest (not sleep) to top up those reserves.

What I Do to Keep Up My Energy

There are a number of things that I've done to increase my energy levels and decrease fatigue. Now, of course I can't promise the same will happen for you, this is just my experience.

The newest thing that I am playing with is scheduling 30 minutes of planned rest four times a day. This doesn't mean taking a nap, it means either lying down, resting my head on the table, listening to some easy music, or anything that will dial down my brain. This small rest breaks allow me to recharge those batteries of mine so that I can continue to do my job and the things that I enjoy (like writing here). 

Other techniques that I use are:
  • Cutting out junk food: this keeps my blood sugar stable
  • Cutting out caffeine: this was really tough and I felt rubbish to start with but after a while I noticed an improvement in my energy levels
  • Get quality sleep at night: by not napping in the day time you will make yourself tired enough to properly sleep at night thereby reducing the insomnia 
  • Take a Green Tea capsule every morning: green tea has loads of benefits
  • Exercise when I can: just getting up to move for a few minutes every hour helps to boost circulation and improve alertness
  • Keep hydrated: this is one of the biggest points as without water your body cannot function properly which is why it is vital to drink it.

Related Links

Deep Vein Thrombosis Rehab Update and Weight Lifting Gloves

Rehab Update

My rehab has come to a stand still lately. I've been talking to the doctor about getting some physio but she said I'm still far to risky for that sort of treatment so I have to muddle on as I have been, stay on the clexane and take everyday as it comes.

Pain

The pain in my leg has been on and off the last few days but I seem to becoming more aware of it than I have been. I don't know if it's more pain/damage or if the meds aren't working as well or if I'm just noticing it more. Either way it is pain and it's still there bugging and hurting me.

Fever

I had a really bad fever on Sunday night/Monday morning, so bad that I had to call into work sick. I'm not really sure what caused it as nothing has changed in my routine. It might have been a reaction to my meds (I have them sometimes) or a bit of clot might have moved off making my body freak out a bit. I haven't had one since but I'll still be mentioning it at my next check up.

The Heat Is Killing Me!

It's been over 25 degrees for the last week in the UK and the heat is killing me! Because I have to wear such strong compression stockings it is preventing my body from releasing heat effectively which is creating more exhaustion which, in turn, is playing havoc with my fatigue. Sweating and not cooling effectively is creating stress within my body that it could really do without right now. I have learnt a few tips to keep cool in the summer, especially if you have to wear compression stockings of suffer with M.E or CFS.

Tips for Dealing with Heat

  • Keep hydrated: sip on water and cool liquids throughout the day
  • Stay indoors during the hottest part of the day
  • Wear lose fitting clothing: this allows your body to breath and cool effectively
  • Use a fan: this will help to remove the sweat thereby making it easier to cool
  • Keep your legs elevated as much as possible: the heat will cause additional swelling in your legs to keep them up to help reduce it
  • If medically possible try and switch to a lighter compression stocking that is breathable

York Weight Lifting Gloves


I've had people asking me where I got my gloves from. I purchased these gloves a couple of years ago from Amazon and they are still faring strong after a lot of wear. I'm currently using these to prevent blisters while I'm using crutches and they are doing the job well They provide me with the extra padding that I need along with a strong grip that has never failed me. However, due to their material on a hot day they will make my hand sweat but they absorb moisture well, just be sure to wash them every do often.

When I have used these for weight lifting they have given me exactly the same great experience: nice padding and strong grip. 

If you're on crutches and you're suffering with bruises, or you're getting into weight training and are getting calluses, I can highly recommend these inexpensive gloves. They have lasted me well over two years, coming up to three, and they are only just started showing a tiny bit of wear on the palms. Click on the link to get your own pair of York Weight Training Gloves.

Related Links


Monday, 21 May 2012

The Truth About Abs

The Truth About Abs

The Truth About Abs is an ebook that I want to get my teeth into. I've been looking at the results Mike Geary has been getting people and I'm excited for the improvements that I've seen. Although I'm in no fit state to actually work out the advice he gives for nutrition is great, he shoots down popular myths and uses science to back up his theories.

What Do You Get With the Book

Here's a small selection of what you actually get in the book:
  • Sound nutritional advice
  • Effective cardio and ab routines
  • How to maximize you metabolism
  • A food chart that focuses on natural whole foods
That's just a small taster of what's in the book. I've also included part 1 & 2 of an interview done with the  author Mike Geary. Mike answers a load of questions sent in by readers about his book and fitness in general:

 

The Truth About Abs isn't just a diet, it's a lifestyle change. Mike will show you how you don't need to do hours and hours on the treadmill but you can get the abs you want by eating the right foods, firing up your metabolism and doing effective workouts.

Since it's an ebook you wont have to wait for shipping you can download it straight to your computer and get started within the next couple of minutes. Click on the link below to go through an informative video which will give you the option to purchase.

Click Here! This link will take you to a promotional video and will then take you to a an order form via click bank.


So You Don't Think You're Disabled: Accepting Help When You Need It

It Used to be so Easy

Coming home from work, hopping in the shower, going out to meet some friends for a drink. Does that seem like a regular Friday night? It seems simple, right? Wrong! That used to be a simple series of tasks but that's now a serious set of tasks that will leave me exhausted for a few days afterwards, even more so if I didn't ask for help. I don't think of myself as disabled but I still need help.

What's Different

Since coming out of hospital 2 months ago I have come to realize that I can't take things for granted anymore, I need help with everything I do now and from what I've been told it isn't going to get any easier. Even the things I can still do for myself have to be slowed down and calculated so that I don't screw up and hurt myself or become exhausted.

Things like hopping in the shower now have to be broken down into at least two parts as I can no longer wash my hair and shower at the same time. If they both need doing on the one day then I will do one in the morning and one at night but either way I need help getting into and out of the shower and having my hair washed. There's no shame in asking for help even with personal things like hygiene, there are always ways of keeping your dignity. For example, for getting into the shower I undress, put on my bathrobe and then I'm helped into the shower/bath where I can then draw the curtain and remove my towel and getting out is just the reverse of that. As for washing my hair I think of it as a pampering session, I get to have a head massage every single time. Until I can get a walk in shower that's the way it's going to be and there's not much I can do about it so I accept it and deal with it. 

What is My Point ...

Ask for help when you need it. There are not only physical sources of help but also financial. For example, I'm struggling to work full-time so I'm applying for financial aid through the government. This will allow me to pay all my bills and work part-time without making myself worse, I can focus on getting better and stronger and if I can go back to full-time then the benefits will stop because I can manage by myself again but until then that extra money will help a lot.

There are also other things you can apply for such as:
  • Mobility allowance
  • Blue badges
  • Specially adapted vehicles 
  • Careers
  • Careers allowance
  • Housing benefit or reduced council tax
  • Special equipment
The list is endless. If you're in the UK I would suggest stopping by direct.gov.uk to see what you might be eligible for.



Eating Your Placenta: What are the Benefits

Here's an interesting topic that I found on EverydayHealth on YouTube: Do you eat your placenta? It's a fairly controversial topic as some women think it's a great idea whereas others are repulsed by the idea. There are benefits to eating the placenta and it is also considered a spiritual practices in some countries and belief systems. The benefits are:
  • Replace vitamin and minerals lost in pregnancy and childbirth
  • Increase postnatal iron levels
  • Combat postpartum depress (the "baby blues")
  • Increase energy
  • Reduce fatigue
  • Increase milk supply

If you do decide to eat your placenta there are many ways that you can go about it:
  • Raw
  • Traditionally fried with onions
  • A new option is to turn the placenta into capsules and consume regularly after the birth. The placenta is steamed for 8-12 hours, ground into a fine powder and placed into capsules.
Here's the video that got me on to this topic:
  

I'm still on the fence about the subject and would have to talk to some other mothers who have done it. The capsule form would seem to be a better option, especially if you can't stomach eating the placenta in full. However, there is a cost involved for creating the capsules and an average price seems to be between $250-400 (£160-250) now that seems a little pricey but you do get what you pay for.

Let me know your thoughts on eating placenta. Have you done it before or perhaps thinking about it? Or you might be like me and still on the fence and have some questions about it. Again, leave a comment and we'll find those answers.


Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Sexy New Compression Stockings: Rehab Update Days 37-42

Where did the week go?

I have no idea where this week has gone! I've spent my week days going to work and then coming home to writeand research. I've got a couple of other pages you might be interested in:
Both of these pages are supplementary works to articles I post on here, I also add in some extra stuff too. Squidoo is more of a bibliography of all my works, there are links to important pages and topics from here as well as supplementary articles that expand knowledge. As for HubPages, I share recipesas well as including addition information (I'm working on a hematoma series at the moment).

I'm also research a lot of things at the moment too. I'm working on improving my page ranking and blog status as well as optimizing for product sales and improving my Adsense earnings with Google too. Aside the money making aspect of blogging I'm also research a lot of invisible illnesses. Like I said previously I'm working on a hematoma section mainly with HubPages and Squidoo, I've also just started looking into eating disordersas well so you can expect a few posts on those topics. If you want to find out some more information on any of my topics you can look around on Squidoo or HubPages via the above links and you'll find a lot more information there.

Sexy Compression Stockings

My Mediven Stockings
I went to orthopedics yesterday to pick up some brand new compression stockings. These ones are so much better than the TED ones I got at the hospital. You can see in the picture that they're tan so when I put them on they look like tights so I can go ahead and start wearing skirtsand dresses again.

Although it doesn't look like it in the photo those little stockings actually go all the way up to the top of my thigh. You can see that they start off really small so getting them on, especially to the top, is like going on a mission from God. It takes me about 20 minutes to get them on first thing in the morning - I have to get my bathroom schedule timed right so that I'm not desperate by the time I've got them on and comfortable.

Talking of bathroom schedules, wearing stockings and using the toilet is actually a lot harder than I thought. In order to 'go' I have to pull the stockings down slightly before I sit down, unfortunately with these stockings as soon as you move them down they roll down all the way to the knee. That's OK on my right leg (the good one) but it creates a lot of pressure on the inside of the thigh on my left leg and causes the clot to hurt quite a bit. I'm currently working on a strategy to get them down without rolling but it's actually quite tough to do. Give me enough time and I'm sure I'll work something out, I'm sure it will also get easier as I lose weighttoo, because then there will be less leg to worry about.

more hospital appointments

I've got the hospital again this week and another GP appointment the day after. The hospital appointment is with the M.E clinic, I'm not sure how I feel about that at the moment. I'm really hoping the fatigue and feeling the Sh$t is down to the clotting issue and not M.E/CFS but I guess they're the specialists and will tell me if I've got it or not.

The GP appointment is for a whole variety of things. I've been getting some chest pain on my left side (and no people it's not a heart attack) and I want to talk to her about medical exemption and also getting a Blue Badge (disability badge for driving) and applying for DLA (Disability Living Allowance) - it's expensive being sick!

A pain in the leg

Ha! I bet you though I was going to say something else then didn't you? Well, no, as normal it's about this delightful clot that's decided to take up residency in my left leg. I'm not sure whether it's down to the new compression stockings or not by my left leg has been giving out more pain than normal. I'm reluctant to go back up to 4 tablets a day as I'm down to 3 at the moment but if it keeps getting worse then I'll either have to cut back on work or up the pain meds - to be honest I'd rather up the pain meds than stop working again, it keeps me sane and I also need the money to by more meds with, oh the irony!

I've got a scan coming up in a few weeks - another one of those loverly Doppler scans where they put all the jelly on your leg and it just wont come off unless you have a soak in a really hot bath. Oh, well, I'll just have to take loads of baby wipes and hope they work that time. Anyway, I'm hoping that the pain might be due to muscle and nerve re-growth rather than the clot getting worse. Not much I can do about it now though.

Auditory Hallucinations

I'm still getting these weird sound hallucinations now and again. I seem to get them most when I'm really, really tired, like now. If I close my eyes then I'll start to here music or just sounds until it gets too loud and jolts me into a more conscious state.

I'm still researching this topic so when I've got some more information I'll do a post on it for everyone.

So, there we have it. I'm still alive, working and researching whilst listening to the imaginary band in my head - maybe I should sample their music and stick it on YouTube!

Related Posts

Sunday, 13 May 2012

What is a Hematoma?





My Experience with Hematoma

Up until recently I had no idea what a hematoma was let alone what to do if I ever got one. This particular article will go through my experience with hematoma and how I deal with them whenever they crop up. There are loads of different types of hematoma so I have included a link at the bottom of the page that explains all about them.

The particular type of hematoma I most commonly get it called a subcutaneous hematoma and I get them on my tummy most of the time. I also suffer from scalp hematoma from time to time as well if it's hot or if I've hit my head.

So What is a Hematoma?

BruisingA hematoma is defined as blood or a clot that has left the blood vessel. The most common form of hematoma you will know of is a bruise. However, with the hematoma that I get there is often a lump, swelling and pain at the site.

The picture on the right is my most recent one and it is really sore. It is black in the middle and turns yellow as it expands. You can't really see it on the photo but there is a great big lump in the middle.

Why Do I get Hematoma?

The reason I get hematoma on my tummy are due to my Clexane injections that I need to do twice a day. Not fun I know, but it's the only way of keeping me alive at the moment. I have to use Clexane to thin my blood to prevent clotting and to also help to break down the massive clot that I have at the moment. You can find out more information about this in the 'Related Links' section below.

How Does a Hematoma Affect Me and Are They Painful?

Hematoma are a pain in the a$$ to be completely honest but I have to deal with them because they are a by-product of my injections. They can often get very sore to the touch and I sometimes can't wear my nice clothes because the band that goes on my tummy will rub the affected area and can sometimes cause it to bleed again.

As you can see in the photo I'm wearing sweat pants. That's because the one that I have right now is the worst one yet, it hurts to even put the soft band of those huge sweat pants on it. I'm thinking about wearing a dress to work because then I wont have to worry about the band digging in when I sit down. 

Bending down or lifting heavy can cause them to hurt too. Basically anything that puts pressure or stress on the area will aggravate it and then it will take longer to go away.

Doing and injection when you have a hematoma can start to get difficult too. The reason there's a bruise /lump there in the first place was because it wasn't a great injection site to start with - there was little pain but I obviously nicked a blood vessel whilst I was there. This now means that I wont be able to use that area at all until the blood has cleared and the swelling has gone down, which means I am now at a great risk of developing more hematoma as my injection sites have decreased and there will be less time between sites.

How Do I Treat a Hematoma?

The worst thing you can do is to rub an injection site, especially if you think you've got a bleed there. Clexane is a blood thinner so at ground zero (the injection site) the tissue and blood will be at it's thinnest. I would also advise against pushing on a bleeding site as this can create a harder lump, if I'm bleeding for more than a few seconds then I put a piece of tissue over the area so it can soak up any blood without putting any pressure there. If, however, I have a serious bleed and it wont stop after 10 minutes then it's a trip to the emergency room as something has gone horribly wrong and I will need some help clotting.

If the hematoma crops up a few hours later or the day after and it's sore I've found that putting a cool cloth on the area can help to decrease the pain. One thing you don't want to do is to have a hot bath or shower, stick to warm/cool temperatures as this helps to keep the blood vessels at their regular size - if they don't have to dilate or anything then all the better.

The best thing I've found in general is just to leave them alone, try not to aggravate it with any heat, pressure or stress and it should do it's thing and go away.

If you're concerned about the size or pain level of your hematoma then I would highly recommend seeking medical help as it might need to be removed via surgery if it is causing internal issues.  

How Long Does a Hematoma Last For?

Depending on the size will depend on how long it wants to stick around for. If you have a tiny little lump with no bruising then it'll most likely be a couple of days. If, however, you have a stonker of a hematoma like the one in the picture then it will probably hang around for a couple of weeks before it even thinks about disappearing.

So there you have it, my experiences with hematoma. Like I said before, if you're concerned about your hematoma, go see your doctor.

Related Links


Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Free Upper Body Workout - Rehab Days 35 and 36

The Continuous Battle with Fatigue

I'm still fighting the never endingbattle with my insomnia and fatigue. It's got to the point now that I'm forcing myself to go to bed early just to rest, it doesn't matter if I can't sleep too much it's the importance of elevation for my leg and letting my mind relax, otherwise I'd just go crazy! 

Structure

I've found that if I structure my time a bit more then I have some more energy to play with during the day and evening, even if I'm having a bad pain day. By giving myself an hour and a half to get ready in the morning for work I can potter around getting myself ready, taking my pills and doing my injection without rushing. This works for me because if I get tired getting ready for work (a frequent occurrence at the moment) I can have a break and then get on with it. The same applies for after work too, I think if this new structure works then I can start going back to karate once a week. If the new structure doesn't work then I'll tweak it until it does, karate will just have to sit on the back burner for now (not happy about that).

Pain

 
CC Courtesy of Kenteegardin, Flickr
Pain is not a fun thing to live with. Fact. I've been walking around on crutchesnow since April and I've just started to get this blister on my left palm. It's really painful and red where I have to put pressure on it to walk any decent distance; pottering around the house I can do without the crutches because I can grab hold of things for balance and weight bearing.

The plan to get my hand healthy again is to wrap it up in gauze so that I create an area around it for the crutch to rest on when I'm using it. That way I can still walk whilst the pressure point/blister is healing. 

Women's Issues (talking personal here, be WARNED)

I had a bit of a shock from my body, my periodcame. I wasn't expecting it at all so when I went to the bathroom, well, you don't need to know those details... Problem is that I'm still bleeding quite heavily which I've been told would happen because of the clexane injections (they thin the blood and make it harder for me to clot) but I was hoping that where we reduced my dosage it would make my periods a bit more manageable. Clearly not. I'll be manning up through this one again as my tramadol pain meds don't even touch my period pains, which is saying something seeing as it's a step down from morphine and it's currently suppressing the muscle death pain in my leg!

My Free Upper Body Workout

It's simple, you don't need expensive weights or do thousands of pushups, just get a pair of crutches and hey presto you can get an awesome upper body workout right there. I'm not kidding, my pecs (chest muscles) are really starting to get some definition which is great for getting perkier boobs! My shoulders are looking better and I'm getting definition on my back which I've never had before. 

I don't want you going away without some form of workout so here an awesome little video I found that will give you some great ideas on getting a chest of steel too. BodyRock is great, they provide loads of circuit videos that range from beginner to advance so if you want some short workouts head on over there and give them a go.


  Related Posts



Tuesday, 8 May 2012

What is M.S (Multiple Sclerosis)

Introduction to Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis is a neurological condition that affects around 100,000 people in the UK alone. This condition affects nearly twice as many women then men and diagnosis normally occurs between the ages of 20-40

What Does Multiple Sclerosis Do?

A substance called myelin protects the nerve fibres in the central nervous system, which helps messages travel quickly and smoothly between the brain and the rest of the body. However, in MS, your immune system, which normally helps to fight off infections, mistakes myelin for a foreign body and attacks it. This damages the myelin and strips it off the nerve fibres, either partially or completely, leaving scars known as lesions or plaques. This damage disrupts messages travelling along nerve fibres - they can slow down, become distorted, or not get through at all. As well as myelin loss, there can also sometimes be damage to the actual nerve fibres. It is this nerve damage that causes the accumulation of disability that can occur over time. 
Quoted from the MS Society

Multiple Sclerosis Animation

Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

Depending on which part of the nervous system is damaged depends on what symptoms you will experience. However, an early sign of M.S is optic neuritis (partial or complete blindness). It is considered a more 'concrete' symptom as opposed to a vague neurological problem of numbness in the extremities.

Other symptoms include problems with the following:
  • Balance, walking and dizziness
  • Bladder: problems storing and emptying
  • Bowel: incontinence or constipation
  • Eyes and sight: blurred or double vision
  • Fatigue
  • Memory and thinking
  • Mental health: depression, stress and anxiety
  • Pain
  • Sexual problems
  • Spasms and stiffness
  • Speech
  • Swallowing
  • Tremor

Multiple Sclerosis Treatments

CC Courtesy of Emily Raw, Flickr
M.S Interferon Injection
There is no cure for M.S, however, there are a wide variety of treatments that help to manage the symptoms. You will also find that with certain types of M.S that the condition will phase between remission and relapse so depending on where you are in a cycle depends on what level of treatment you require.

Treatments for M.S include: Disease Modifying Drugs (DMDs); Complimentary and alternative therapies such as physio therapy and massage; exercise; and diet. By including these treatments when necessary it is possible to limit your symptoms so that they have as little impact on your life as possible.

Please leave a comment if you're affected by M.S (personally or someone you know), it's important for us to raise awareness about these diseases.

Related Links



Monday, 7 May 2012

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Coping with Fatigue) - Rehab Days 33 and 34

The Fatigue Battle

The last couple of days have been quite rough. I've been fighting a bad patch of fatigue and have done nothing that I had planned to do over the bank holiday weekend. Along with the fatigue I've been battling with a variety of odd symptoms:
  • Stomach cramping and nausea
  • Pain that isn't associated with my blood clot
  • Brain fog
  • Having moments when my pupils dilate and it seems like everything is going a mile a minute (and no, I'm not on speed)
  • Forgetfulness - not like me at all, I'm having problems recalling words and short term memory loss
  • Intense pain on my scalp (I currently have cooling cream in my hair: not pretty)
  • Problems injecting - it feels like I'm injecting into cheese now (there's a lot more resistance)

Period Pains

I've also got some menstrual pain as well but I can tell when I'm due on. I've been having cramps without bleeding for the last couple of weeks but this time they seem to be stronger so I'm not really sure what's going on there. 

Insomnia

This guy is back in full force which is making my fatigue even worse than it should be. As well as not being able to fall asleep, when I do it's for 10-12 hours minimum and then I'll randomly drop off several times during the day. I'm hoping to get to sleep tonight because I have work in the morning. I guess I could always sleep when I got home but it would seriously throw me off for the entire week.

SNUGGIES

This has to be one of my favorite things to snuggle up in when I'm tired, cold or trying to fall asleep. The fact that I can have the use of my arms to read a book or do a crossword in is great! I can often be found on the couch with a book over my face snoring like a trouper. If you want one they sell them on Amazon:
   

Tips for Coping with Fatigue

I will often take a bubble bath or simply put my feet up and shut my eyes for 10 minutes. I often find that doing the same activity for long periods of time will also make me tired too. If I'm at work, for example, I will get up for a 5 minute walk or get a drink every hour, especially important if you have a desk job. 

Here's a list of other tips that I use when I'm having a bad patch of fatigue:
  • Make sure I get 8-10 hours of quality sleep: that's actual sleep not including the time it takes for me to get comfortable and ready for bed (it can take up to an hour).
  • Make sure I'm at a comfortable temperature: being too hot or too cold can put extra strain on your  body that it just doesn't need when going through a fatigue spell. Cold drinks, cool showers and fans for when you're hot and hot drinks, a hot-water bottle and blankets for when you're cold.
  • Reduce pain: this can either be through medication, body movements (stretching or walking often help), or using props to relieve pressure points (I keep a beanbag on the sofa and in my bed to keep my leg elevated to reduce pain and swelling).
  • Write in a journal (or blog): taking your thoughts out of your head and putting them somewhere safe for you to deal with later helps to decrease stress at the end of the day, or anytime that you need to unwind. Put the thoughts away for a time when you have the energy to actively accomplish them.
  • Read, watch a movie, or listen to music: getting stuck in a good book or being taken away to somewhere else is a very good distraction tool that I use. By not focusing on your fatigue you can actually get some sleep, or, if you use the right tools actually give you some energy. For example, if I need some energy I'll put on some funky music but if I need sleep then I'll put on some relaxing music or read a book.

Summary

So there you have it, how I cope with my fatigue days. The tips that I've included are only some of the best ones that work for me, there are others that I use depending on the situation but I figured these are the most useful ones. If you want some more tips, or even have some to share then please leave a comment.

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Sunday, 6 May 2012

Exercise at Home

CC courtesy of Ed Yourdon, Flickr
When you don't have access to a gym either due to time constraints, financial reasons, or even distance then it can be quite difficult to motivate yourself to get some activity into your lifestyle. The good news is that you don't actually need a gym to get fit, you can do it in the comfort of your own home or neighborhood. All you need is your body and if you want it some inexpensive equipment for resistance, or your can just use your body weight.

Cardio Options

If you're just starting out you might just want to start with walking. This can be done by scheduling in a walk at lunchtime, after work or on the weekend or even just by taking the stairs or parking your car further away from your destination. Taking the stairs can give you a real cardio and resistance boost as it works your heart, calves, quads and hamstrings. 

If you find walking or taking the stairs far too easy then you could starting jogging or running to up your cardio. There are plenty of programs out there to help you progress from walking to running but I'll include some information in the Related Posts section.

Walking or running might not be your thing so you could always try circuit training. These will often include body weight exercises but you'll get a great workout for your heart and burn some calories at the same time. Here's a couple of videos to demonstrate:



If you don't have a heavy bag then you could always make one at home. Here's video showing you how to make a piece of equipment known as the Sandbag (doesn't always contain sand though):


Resistance Options

You also don't need a gym to gain muscle either you can use your entire body to get the same effect with little or no equipment needed. Body weight exercises include:
  • Squats
  • Wall squats
  • Lunges
  • Calf raises
  • Plank
  • Crunches
  • Reverse crunch
  • V-ups
  • Press ups
  • Pull ups
  • Tricep Dips
You can make circuits using any combination of these exercises. Ideally with just body weight exercises you need to go to your maximum reps each time to get any real benefit. Here's a couple of videos showing these moves in action:
Beginner

Advanced

Workout DVDs

You might find that you're looking for something with a bit more structure, if that is the case then I would recommend investing in a couple of workout DVDs. There are thousands of options out there but my favorite brands are the Beachbody products and anything by Jillian Michaels (the Biggest Loser trainer). Here's a couple of excerpts to see if that's your thing:

Jillian Michaels

P90X - I love Tony and in the past has got me some great results


Insanity - I haven't done this routine yet but the results I've seen from my buddies have been amazing!


Charlene Extreme - this lovely lady has brought some amazing results from me in the past too.



These DVDs are just a few of what's out there. I would suggest doing some research of your own before heading and getting anything. Some of the programs listed here do require some basic equipment like dumbbells or resistance bands but they can be purchased fairly cheap online or at charity stores.

Let me know what you think in the comments and have fun working out.
     

Related Posts:

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Nausea, Sweating and Headaches - Rehab: Day 32

One of the worst feelings I can have is of feeling sick, or actually being sick. The stomach squirming, icky taste and 'sick burps' are all nasty things I can live without. But that's exactly what I got this morning, a horrible batch of nausea that lasted for most of the day. I find that the only thing that will settle my stomach when I have this is coke, the problem I had with that today though is that I gave up fizzy drinks in January. I bit the bullet though and got a small can of Diet Coke and while it certainly made me feel a bit better it didn't taste great, in fact, it tasted gross! I don't want to drink that again for a long time.

I figured out why I'm sweating so much recently and it's not down to the heat. I was reading my pain med leaflet and sweating was a common side effect: tramadol makes me sweat. I think with the heat and the compression stockings it just made everything worse. I guess that's something I'm going to have to start dealing with seeing as summer is just around the corner (through all this rain).

I'm hoping that these headaches that I've been getting are due to my menstrual cycle as I used to get them around the time of my period anyway. Since coming off of birth control back in February I've only had one period so it's really difficult to tell when I'm supposed to be on. The symptoms will be there for a couple of days and then I'm fine for another week, I think it's just a waiting game at the moment until everything settles down again.

My question to you today is: have you ever had any weird side effects from any prescribed or over the counter medication that you've ever taken? Leave me a comment if you want to share.

Take a Look at what my Amazon Widget has for Sale


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Friday, 4 May 2012

Wasted Day or Time Spent Recovering - Rehab: Day 31

I've had a bit of a mixed day today - good news, bad news, strenuous activity, resting. I had the day off work to go to the hospital today for my check up with Dr Mannering but that'll be my last one with him as he is leaving the hospital in 3 weeks. My care is being transfered to Dr Kasmi another hematologist who was looking after me when I was in hospital.

Scan and Blood Results

The good news is that my blood results where right were they're supposed to be at the moment but I still had to go for a another test because they changed the clexane dosage. The bad news is that I'll have to be on them for at least another 3 months before they'll even consider the warfarin - I'm sorry tummy, it looks like we'll be stabbing you for quite a while yet.

More good news: my chest pain isn't related to my filter. The pain I've been feeling over my breastplate is muscle fatigue from the crutches and the pulmonary embolism recovery. I had my chest and heart listened too and there's no fluid, crackling or wheezing going on so it's all within the normal parameters. Obviously if I get some really bad pain or breathlessness I need to go straight to A&E even for a bad asthma attack as a clot in my lung could've moved.

On to the scan. Dr was pleased with my mobility and swelling results but the scan results weren't great. The reason the filter is staying in is because the clot hasn't changed dramatically. Like I said in a previous rehab post the clot has a trickle of blood flow in the middle of the femoral vein but that's about it. They can't go in with a clot busting drug because the clot is too old and I would risk having a serious internal bleed if they went ahead with the procedure.

What Next?

I'm scheduled to have another scan in 6-8 weeks to check on the progress of the clot and to have another blood test. In the meantime I'll be getting some better compression stockings to help with the venous insufficiency, meeting with Dr Kasmi and generally trying to get stronger and fight off this fatigue. If I need anything in the meantime then my GP will be looking after me.

Soo, the Title?

The reason for the title is because I had planned to do a few productive things with my day off but as it happens my little trip to the hospital really tired me out. I don't know what was so different this time but I got home, had lunch and could barely keep my eyes open. I went to bed for 4 hours managed to make some dinner and since then I've just been completely knackered. At least I've only got 4 hours work tomorrow then I'm off till Tuesday because of the bank holiday - when you're on rehab hours you don't have to work bank holidays or weekends.

Amazon Shopping

I love Amazon too much. Here's a little contextual widget for some related products. I wonder what it will come up with?

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Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Tiredness, Heat, Pain and Down Right Ignorance - Rehab: Day 30

I have been so tired this week it's starting to become a bit of an issue. Thankfully I've got the day off to go to the hospital so I can take it easy for most of the day. I over slept this morning but luckily work aren't really bothered what time I get on the phones as long as I'm in the building by 10am. I sat and had breakfast at my desk while arranging my meetings for this afternoon (they all went well btw).

The heat is still an issue for me. I wore a coat out this morning because it was raining but by the time I got to the office I was sweating buckets! And don't get me started about the bus journey into work! I got on a busy bus which was mixed with older people and young people but it clearly states on the bus "please give up your seat to the elderly or disabled people" now fair enough none of the oldies got up but here I am hobbling on to a busy bus with two crutches and a massive limp and no one moves or even offers. I had to stand for the 20 minute bus journey watching and feeling my leg swelling and getting hotter because some healthy people didn't want to stand. Fair enough if they were ill but I'm starting to wonder about society and humanity at the moment. If I don't classify as disabled on a bus then other people haven't even got a chance.

Got a little bit side tracked there, I was talking about the heat... It's making me more dehydrated at the moment which isn't good. I'm still drinking about 6 pints of water a day but not really going to the bathroom an awful lot like I was when it was cold, hence the dehydration theory. I managed to find some cooling tops today but it's mainly my legs that are the issue because of the compression stockings. I'm going to be on the look out for a long skirt to see how that goes instead of trousers.

As for the pain part of that title I've been experiencing pain in my knee caps of all places! I think the pain in my right knee is because I'm putting a lot more pressure on it than normal but as for the left, I'm not sure. I've got a load of questions to ask the hematologist tomorrow so I'll make sure to put up a Q&A later with the results of my appointment.

Talking of appointments, I had my referral letter through for the CFS/M.E department with an appointment in 2 weeks. I've been thinking that I'd rather go to the assessment session and be told that I'll get better once my clotting is fixed, now go away, than to cancel the appointment and find out that I have full blown CFS/M.E and I really need those sessions. Either way I'll know in a couple of weeks.